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As laser cutting process is widely used in industry, an automated on-line process control system has become very important. In this paper, development of a laser cutting monitoring system, which is regarded as the fundamental step toward automation of the process, is presented. Acoustic emission and an artificial neural network were used for the monitoring system. With given process parameters including laser power and scanning speed, the system can predict the suitability of laser beam for the cutting of a stainless steel (STS304) plate.